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Let’s Recover Friendship as a Holy Calling by Sheridan Voysey

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Sep 23, 2020
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This article was written and provided by Sheridan Voysey. Sheridan Voysey is an author and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His latest book is The Making of Us: Who We Can Become When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned. Download his FREE inspirational printable The Creed here.

Let’s Recover Friendship as a Holy Calling

Friends: they celebrate our birthdays, pop a cork over our new jobs, become bridesmaids and best men at our weddings. But fewer of us seem to have them. In the UK, a recent YouGov survey found that more than 1-in-10 Britons have no close friends and a further 1-in-10 have no friends at all. In the US, 35 percent of Americans over the age of 45 are chronically lonely. In Australia, a 2018 report found 1-in-3 Australians don’t belong to a friendship group. 

What is causing this ‘friendship poverty’ and how can we fix it? 

Romance’s Overlooked Sibling

For months now I’ve had a sense I should explore this topic of friendship. I dipped my toes in the water on Saturday with an article for The Times on why I think friendship has been undervalued and how it can be recovered. You can read the column here (you’ll need to sign up for free) or else you can read a picture of it on social media where it got a lot of response.

“What is to blame for this devaluing of friendship?” I wrote. “Romance. Or more precisely, our obsession with it. Captivating and provocative, romance’s presence in the room draws all eyes away from its less glamorous sibling.” We need to rectify this, I add, because to be a friend is a “holy calling as valid as parenthood or a career.”

Here are some other quotes from the article:

“If friendship is rarely written about, it is sung about even less. A scroll through our playlists proves it.”

“Yet friendship may be our most fundamental bond. When a business fails, family bonds break or romance flitters away, it is to our friends that we turn.”

“To be a close friend is a high and holy calling. Just ask the two in ten of us who long to have one.”

This article was provided with thanks from Sheridan Voysey.